If you collect Amiibos, you’re actually just collecting disappointment. Not that Nintendo’s toys are faulty or deficient, but the process of actually buying them seems almost hopeless. From trying to lodge an internet preorder before sites crash or figures sell out, to standing in line before stores open on release day, anybody trying to buy every Amiibo, or even just that one specific toy of an obscure favorite character, has grown intimately familiar with the darkest side of retail. We’re sorry, little buddy.
Perhaps it’s the fundamentally depressing nature of Amiibo collection that drove me to put off these latest rankings for so long. We last did this back in January, when the third wave first came out. With the sixth wave releasing earlier today, it’s time to finally catch up on all the exciting Amiibo action that went down throughout 2015. First up are the fourth wave, which came out in May, and the tiny fifth wave, which consists of two characters that were unleashed upon the world in July. As always, these rankings are based purely on aesthetic appeal, and are simply one man’s opinions. The most striking thing about these waves is that the figures are all really good, from an aesthetic standpoint. That makes the numbered rankings even more arbitrary than they’d otherwise be. Please share your thoughts, opinions, criticisms and complaints in the comment section below.
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14. Silver Mario: Here's the Amiibo craze at its worst. It's already difficult to find the majority of these toys when they're released. It's sad to see any amount of production resources devoted to variant versions of the already bountiful Mario figures when almost every character on this list sold out within a weekend. Even if scrapping the Silver Mario means only a few more units of Ness or Robin or whatever, it'd still be worth it. As for the figure itself, it's fine, I guess. It's the same figure as the standard Mario Party Mario, only now it's silver.
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13. Inkling Boy: Pity poor Inkling Boy. The entire Splatoon-playing world is in love with Inkling Girl, leaving her opposite number to feel sad and unloved. Perhaps the man-bun was a bad call, even if it is a tentacle. As much as I love the art style of Splatoon, I am not enamored with either of the kid-based Amiibos; they are colorful, sure, and have nice details on their gear, but there's something missing in their poses.
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12. Inkling Girl: She's a bit more dynamic in her stance than the Inkling Boy, and there's a nice, bouncy line to her tentacle hair, making her a cut above her partner. She has a more vibrant color scheme, as well.
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11. Dark Pit: It's a little sad to see Nintendo selling variants on characters that sold out almost immediately instead of just making a new run of the original. Dark Pit is a distinct character from Pit, of course, but Pit was so hard to find that there were surely fans who don't necessarily care about his doppelganger buying this toy solely because they missed out on the first one. And so two fan bases go unfulfilled. Anyway, from an aesthetic viewpoint, Dark Pit is a success: that stern look and regal bearing are a nice contrast to regular Pit's playfulness, accentuating how this is every negative aspect of Pit's personality concentrated in a new body. The X's on those massive shin pads make him look like a member of some parallel universe X-Men, though.
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10. Robin: The default playable character from the last Fire Emblem game bears an impressively ornate wardrobe and an awesomely jagged sword, but it's his commitment to literacy that really makes me love him. The Fire Emblem Amiibos tend to have somewhat boring poses, and although Robin could be a bit more dynamic, his stance befits his scholarly nature.
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9. Jigglypuff: Slightly less lazy than the Kirby design, this cute little friend sums up how some view Pokémon: as a product trying so hard to be kid-friendly that it veers into the most minimal designs possible. That's an incredibly ungenerous way to view Nintendo's money engine, even if Jigglypuff is a little simplistic. There's power in that simplicity, though, and it's impossible to look into these deep blue eyes and feel anything but true love for Jigglypuff. From that Superman curl to those stubby little arms, this is one adorable Amiibo.
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8. Lucina: Lucina has the best pose of all the Fire Emblem Amiibos, one line slashing down from another with her regal cape billowing out behind. Both of this wave's Fire Emblem figures were a big step up from the earlier ones.
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7. Pac-Man: Pac-Man presents a problem. How do you turn a character best known as a pie chart into a fully-formed physical object? The answer is to go with the Pac-Man design best known from various cartoons and marketing tie-ins. This design is unmistakable as Pac-Man, and almost as iconic as the original 2D sprite. His can-do attitude and winking positivity survive the translation, making this an instant classic Amiibo. Maybe they'll do a Pac-Land model for everybody who thinks he looks best in a hat?
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6. Charizard: People are protective of their Pokémon, and I don't know why: this fearsome critter can clearly take care of itself. Even at their most monstrous Pokémon remain adorable, though, as Charizard's rounded cartoon body and playfully aflame tail attest. I am as indifferent to Pokémon as a human could be, but I can't argue with the combo of fun and ferocity that is Charizard.
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5. Palutena: The Goddess of Light fittingly gets one of the more elaborate Amiibos, with that halo and aura shadowing her, the ornate shield on her left arm and the way her green hair swoops around her like a cape. If you didn't play games you'd never guess how minor a character she is based on this gorgeously designed figure.